Versatile drum synth (for drum sound design) in 2019

Reaktor, MAX/MSP, VST/AU, etc. A place for all things soft....

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High Wolf
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Versatile drum synth (for drum sound design) in 2019

Post by High Wolf » Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:28 am

Hey,

I'm new to software synthesis (experienced modular and hardware user though) and I'm looking for a way to synthesis futuristic / experimental / digital drums. Absolutely not interested in analogue sounding software, I got this covered. Not into sample based stuff either. I'm using Ableton Live 10.

So far my research led me to those two :

- microtonic
- Tremor by Fxpansion

I lean towards Tremor BUT it is discontinuited which makes it a bit complicated for future things (Mac OS Catalina and whatnot). Also those are fairly "old" so I wonder what else is there? What alternative would you recommend?

Thanks a lot for your help

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xradii
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Post by xradii » Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:15 am

May not be what you are looking after but if you have Max For Live w/ your copy of Ableton Live then ESQ is great for running drums through it for more experimental,"off the grid" stuff: https://k-devices.com/products/esq

But again, it's a sequencer not a drum machine, so might not be what you are after. Figured I'd mention it though. Also, I think Max For Live is your best bet for this.

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High Wolf
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Post by High Wolf » Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:34 am

I got Max for Live but haven’t really tried to design my own stuff with it yet (I find the UI a bit rough for my taste). Still is something I want to learn down the line.
I am not looking for a sequencer, it really is about designing drum sounds. I am into some kind of more advanced « beat repeat » plug ins as well if someone has recommandations.

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Post by oisin » Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:07 pm

there are the digital drum synths for M4L the christian kleine did.. they might be in m4l essentials or something.

but in general i recommend making drum racks of operator / reason / etc .. little synths that do specific sounds

eventually some re-sampling might happen (cpu) ;)

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Post by orangehexagon » Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:52 pm

I want to second the approach of using multiple instance of Operator in a drum rack. I actually spent all of last Sunday building drum racks of purely Operator synthesized drums. Futuristic for days.

Don't forget that the way you process a sound is just as important as the synthesis of the sound itself.

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High Wolf
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Post by High Wolf » Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:30 am

Thanks for your advice. Haven’t really dig into operator yet just because of the obscure UI. I’ll try again.
Still welcoming advice for :
- Tremor like drum synth
- advanced beat repeat plug ins
- cool glitchy FX

:yay:

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stimresp
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Post by stimresp » Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:00 am

Forget Tremor, it's gone. The second plugin I bought from FXpansion that they subsequently (within weeks) stopped supporting. Fool me once...

For unique percussion, IMO the best way to go is to use a fully featured syntheszer, and sample the output into something like Renoise / Redux for further manipulation and resampling.

U-he synths Bazille and Ace make terrific drum sounds (even just using the resonant filters) and can go in many directions. The free Beatzill/BazilleCM will also take you far.

FM synths, obviously, and physical modelling synths such as Kaivo or Chromaphone are worth exploring.

Also try Audio Damage Axon 2 for making quirky FM percussion sequences that layer really well.

For glitchy FX I am totally happy with Sugar Bytes Turnado, though it does take some work to set it up as desired. But worth it for the results and the level of control it provides. I pipe my Analog Rytm through the ipad version and it's the dog's bollox.

:sb:

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High Wolf
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Post by High Wolf » Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:25 am

great, thanks stimresp, lots of options to check :)

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Post by nostalghia » Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:30 pm

Native Instruments Reaktor would give you virtually unlimited possibilites, especially if you got into creating your own stuff using Blocks. You could start out by just tweaking the factory instruments and downloading drum oriented things that seem interesting from the huge user library (including plenty of percussion sound generators, with or without "drum machine" sequencing interface and FX), then explore building something yourself based on others ideas as a starting point. Free to demo, give it a try and see what you think, confirm your system is compatible.

NI Reaktor
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Post by dropthedyle » Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:39 pm

I'll second nostalghia with NI Reaktor !

and if it's still supported on your OS : Drumspillage
http://www.audiospillage.com/drumspillage.html

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High Wolf
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Post by High Wolf » Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:31 am

Ok, worth checking NI Reaktor then. Just one quick question : what they call Blocks, are they all for free? Or is it stuff you need to buy separately?

On another note, I'm looking for a glitch plug in, and I found that Glitch Bitch that sounds exactly like what I want. I realized that in order to work it needs an eLicenser USB dongle which I didn't know existed. So basically in order to use a software that I download I need to pay 20 euros extra + shipping fees for a USB key that a truck will have to deliver to me...sounds a bit stupid to me and now I don't want to buy that software anymore...any recommendation for a substitution?

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Post by nostalghia » Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:58 pm

High Wolf wrote:Ok, worth checking NI Reaktor then. Just one quick question : what they call Blocks, are they all for free? Or is it stuff you need to buy separately?
Some Blocks are free, others additional cost. Varies with their level of complexity and where they are from (NI or 3rd party/users). NI has a pack of 24 Blocks called "Blocks Base" that's a free download. A more advanced set, "Blocks Prime" is an extra $99.

There are also many Blocks created by users and "name" developers. Most are free (all from the Reaktor user library are), but some of the developers out there charge for their complete set (up to $99 I think), others have free or "light" versions of their full Blocks packs.

Blocks are essentially like hardware synth modules-some are simple single function, others more complex or combine multiple functions. Reaktor kind of provides the "case, power and patch cords" framework so you can interconnect them however you like, or you may prefer to just tweak knobs on a preset in a patched "rack" that has been built for you by NI or a Reaktor user. More info, videos, etc. here: https://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/synths/reaktor-6/blocks/
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Post by oisin » Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:28 pm

also NI's drumlab and battery are quite good at doing what youre talking about. if you have access to komplete check them out - could be helpful as inspiration for what youre trying to do.

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Post by High Wolf » Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:33 am

Well that sounds interesting, but after buying Live 10, having to buy Reaktor and then buy Blocks individually (because I know I'll want them)...maybe for now I'm looking for something more simple and definitive, just a software that doesn't imply that I need to buy more stuff again.

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Post by oisin » Wed Nov 20, 2019 5:33 am

right on i understand. although if you ever need to do commercial / cultural productions i can recommend picking up an old used liscence for komplete and then updating it in one of their sales ( summer and fall)... so much stuff in there to play with.

but i respect having some limits too 8-)

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Post by nostalghia » Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:59 pm

If you're still interested and haven't already bought Reaktor, now's a good time to get it.
NI is having a holiday (Thanksgiving) 50% off sale on everything for the next 20 days (well, 19 now). So Reaktor 6 is $99.50 instead of usual $199.00.
https://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/synths/reaktor-6/

You could also try out the Reaktor 6 Player, which is a free download. Includes the Blocks Base, lets you try out any of the 3000 free instruments in the user library for 30 min in demo mode. Would give you an idea of the interface, sound, features, etc., confirm you want to purchase full version. See the comparison chart (Player vs full Reaktor) link here:
https://www.native-instruments.com/en/products/komplete/synths/reaktor-6-player/

I think you'd get a lot of use out of Reaktor, for more than just interesting, unique drum synths. Years of exploration with just the included stuff, without buying anything additional. Effects, processors and samplers as well as synths/instruments. Here's the result of a search for "glitch" in the user library (all are free downloads): https://www.native-instruments.com/en/reaktor-community/reaktor-user-library/all/all/all/all/glitch/latest/1/all/?q=glitch&t=userlib
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Post by High Wolf » Thu Nov 21, 2019 8:41 am

Hey nostalghia, that's quite a game changer that it's 50% off! Thanks a lot for the info. I have no choice but to trust a Tarkovski enthusiast :)

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Post by High Wolf » Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:12 am

Trying to find out more infos about Reaktor : is it really just some kind of virtual modular system? If so it's not for me, already have got a physical modular system. I want to create sounds in a different way than patching, that's why I'm looking into software. I'd like some kind of pre-designed instruments and FX I can tweak, that kind of stuff.

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Post by thelizard » Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:08 am

High Wolf wrote:Trying to find out more infos about Reaktor : is it really just some kind of virtual modular system? If so it's not for me, already have got a physical modular system. I want to create sounds in a different way than patching, that's why I'm looking into software. I'd like some kind of pre-designed instruments and FX I can tweak, that kind of stuff.
Reaktor has those as well. The idea is that it's a software modular environment, but you can take the complete patch and put it behind an interface, known as an "Ensemble" in Reaktor. There's "Reaktor Player," which eliminates the ability to create patches, but it allows you to load (some) commercial ensembles.

S-Layer (by Twisted Tools) doesn't work with Reaktor Player, but it might be exactly what you're looking for: https://twistedtools.com/shop/reaktor/s-layer/

Likewise, Twisted Tools developed Polyplex, which is a Reaktor instrument released by NI. It's also an excellent drum sample manipulator and loader: https://www.native-instruments.com/en/p ... /polyplex/

But yes, the ensembles in the User Library work with the full version of Reaktor. Many are spectacular.

That's not even mentioning the dozens of excellent instruments and effects that come in the Reaktor Factory Library. Check out Krypt, for instance:

Or Aerobic and Sinebeats, both synthesis-based drum machines in the Factory Library:

etc. etc. etc. Reaktor is amazing.

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Post by paperCUT » Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:41 am

Awesome! I'm going to pull the trigger on Reaktor, had a pirated copy years ago and was the most inspirational piece of software I've ever used.

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Post by High Wolf » Sun Dec 08, 2019 8:45 am

thelizard wrote:
High Wolf wrote:Trying to find out more infos about Reaktor : is it really just some kind of virtual modular system? If so it's not for me, already have got a physical modular system. I want to create sounds in a different way than patching, that's why I'm looking into software. I'd like some kind of pre-designed instruments and FX I can tweak, that kind of stuff.
Reaktor has those as well. The idea is that it's a software modular environment, but you can take the complete patch and put it behind an interface, known as an "Ensemble" in Reaktor. There's "Reaktor Player," which eliminates the ability to create patches, but it allows you to load (some) commercial ensembles.

S-Layer (by Twisted Tools) doesn't work with Reaktor Player, but it might be exactly what you're looking for: https://twistedtools.com/shop/reaktor/s-layer/

Likewise, Twisted Tools developed Polyplex, which is a Reaktor instrument released by NI. It's also an excellent drum sample manipulator and loader: https://www.native-instruments.com/en/p ... /polyplex/

But yes, the ensembles in the User Library work with the full version of Reaktor. Many are spectacular.

That's not even mentioning the dozens of excellent instruments and effects that come in the Reaktor Factory Library. Check out Krypt, for instance:

Or Aerobic and Sinebeats, both synthesis-based drum machines in the Factory Library:

etc. etc. etc. Reaktor is amazing.
I just got Reaktor the other day, don't know how I can get those Aerobic and Sinebeats?? Where can I download it?

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High Wolf
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Post by High Wolf » Sun Dec 08, 2019 8:47 am

High Wolf wrote:
thelizard wrote:
High Wolf wrote:Trying to find out more infos about Reaktor : is it really just some kind of virtual modular system? If so it's not for me, already have got a physical modular system. I want to create sounds in a different way than patching, that's why I'm looking into software. I'd like some kind of pre-designed instruments and FX I can tweak, that kind of stuff.
Reaktor has those as well. The idea is that it's a software modular environment, but you can take the complete patch and put it behind an interface, known as an "Ensemble" in Reaktor. There's "Reaktor Player," which eliminates the ability to create patches, but it allows you to load (some) commercial ensembles.

S-Layer (by Twisted Tools) doesn't work with Reaktor Player, but it might be exactly what you're looking for: https://twistedtools.com/shop/reaktor/s-layer/

Likewise, Twisted Tools developed Polyplex, which is a Reaktor instrument released by NI. It's also an excellent drum sample manipulator and loader: https://www.native-instruments.com/en/p ... /polyplex/

But yes, the ensembles in the User Library work with the full version of Reaktor. Many are spectacular.

That's not even mentioning the dozens of excellent instruments and effects that come in the Reaktor Factory Library. Check out Krypt, for instance:

Or Aerobic and Sinebeats, both synthesis-based drum machines in the Factory Library:

etc. etc. etc. Reaktor is amazing.
I just got Reaktor the other day, don't know how I can get those Aerobic and Sinebeats?? Where can I download it?
Probable need to download that factory library right? :doh:

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Post by Gribs » Sun Dec 08, 2019 7:50 pm

Sugarbytes just released something called Drumcomputer that is pretty cool. It can do polyrhythms and has an interesting synthesis method. It sort of reminds me of Tremor but different. I confess that I bought it right away because it looked so fun... and it is. I really like their stuff. I had some virtual cash in my Plugin Boutique account. JRRShop coupon codes are not working at the moment.
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Post by j_dowe » Tue Dec 10, 2019 3:40 pm

Gribs wrote:Sugarbytes just released something called Drumcomputer that is pretty cool. It can do polyrhythms and has an interesting synthesis method. It sort of reminds me of Tremor but different. I confess that I bought it right away because it looked so fun... and it is. I really like their stuff.
I'm intrigued by this since you can import samples into their wavetable and resynth engines. I may test it out when I have time.

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